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Subject: Essen - questions on specific hotels, taxis, food, subway... rss

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Houserule Jay
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Hey all. I'm hoping some of you who have been to these hotels and taken taxis etc can help me out as I want to book today if possible.

Mercure Plaza Hotel - looks like 1.5 km from Messe? How far a walk is it from the train station? Do you have to connect by subway? Is the breakfast for 15 euro a buffet or is there a better option nearby (buffet is good so you can pig out early and not worry about eating the rest of the day)?

Express by Holiday Inn Essen Hotel - A little north of the center but this one includes a breakfast buffet. It seems maybe 20 minute walk to the train station? Can you connect by subway?

After looking through Eye of Night's Spread sheet these 2 seem to be the cheapest I can find at the moment that aren't too far away unless someone can recommend something.

Taxi - how much would a 20 minute walk equal in taxi fare?

Food - how much is the average meal in a restaraunt?

Thanks in advance and look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible! J

 
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Re: Essen - questions on specific hotels, taxis, food, subwa
You can easily find good 2 course dinners with beer for around €25/person. The food is very good. If money is tight, you can still eat very well for under €20. With German restaurants, I've had to push the plate away with food left on it. You won't go hungry.

My hotel sheet has got better, more hotels found, but they are mostly in adjacent towns like Kettwig or Werden. Still very close to the halls for drivers. If anybody wants a copy, send me a message with your email.

This googlemap shows the route from the station to the Mercure Hotel Plaza, although I wouldn't necessarily want to drag luggage by foot.
http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?daddr=Bismarckstr.+48,+45128+E...

And this one is the route from the station to the Holiday Inn Express:
http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?daddr=Thea-Leymann-Str.+11,+45...

These routes are on the mainest roads, which I'm presuming is what a taxi would use. But I don't know if these are any help to you.

If you are asking about taking the U-bahn (Subway) from the station to the hotels, I suspect by the time you've got from the train, down to the subway, bought your ticket, got on a train, got off one stop later, got up the escalator, well you might have well as walked.

Look at this local transport map:
http://www.evag.de/fileadmin/downloads/netzplaene/Essti.pdf
From the main station in the centre Essen Hbf, the trams and the U-bahn run north south.

The Hotel Plaza seems to be very close to the stop Saalbau, one stop south of the main station.
For the Express Holiday Inn, the nearest U-bahn seems to be Berliner Platz, two stops north, although tram line 166 stops at Limbecker Platz, which seems just as close. In the centre of town, the trams run underground anyway, so its the same difference.

If you are talking about riding the subway to the Messe, then yes, you want to use the subway. It's cheap, fast, and Saalbau is only 3 stops to Messe Ost/Gruga, the best stop for the halls.

Cheers,
jon.
 
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Re: Essen - questions on specific hotels, taxis, food, subwa
I stayed at the Express by Holiday Inn last year, and will be doing so again this year. It's a 5 minute walk to the subway along the line to the messe (you don't change trains). It's about a 7 minute walk to the city centre from the hotel. The hotel has an open (and usually quite empty) restaurant area with lots of tables for gaming.

If you need american food (I usually do once or twice per trip), there's a Subway on the way to the subway stop (heh), and a KFC right around the corner (more than American food, they're good places to get a regular-sized, ice-cold soda). Lots of great cafes and restaurants in the city centre, though.
 
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Houserule Jay
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Thanks a lot for the replies. Jon those satelite maps are awesome, you can see the whole Messe building like you are right above it in a small very low flying plane.

I also think it is the Berliner Platz station from the Express hotel and it doesn't look too far on the map (sheesh I feel like I know my way around Essen already). The women on the phone at the hotel told me 20 minutes walking but I sensed some doubt in her voice. It does look more like 5 minutes which would be great. I seen the train ride is 8 minutes so that is nothing as well.

If it is 5 minutes walk to the station that has a direct train to the Messe than I think I will book there. Thanks again. J
 
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Houserule Jay
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A little tip for anyone who has not yet booked a hotel and Jon you should probably add this to the FAQ; Like with flights you get a much cheaper rate booking online.

One of the hotels I called told me 93 Euro and I mentioned the rate of 65 on the net, she said she couldn't offer it to me, it was only available on the net and suject to certain conditions like non-cancelable, etc...
 
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Cynthia Landon
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Re: Essen - questions on specific hotels, taxis, food, subwa
I will also be staying at the Holiday Inn Express! I can't wait. We're going to have so much fun! See you there!
 
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Houserule Jay
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Does anyone know anything more about this "shuttle" that goes from frankfurt airport to Essen?

This baggage issue on flights is posing me a potential problem. I am looking at going to Frankfurt Sunday night after the show or early Monday. Then we need to find a locker, maybe at the airport or train station??? to store our loot while we go to Spain and Italy. Once we arrive back in Frankfurt we need to pick up all our baggage and get over to Munich for our flight home.

Does anyone know what the bag limit is for the train inside Germany?

This whole terrorist thing is not helping any of us flying for sure.
 
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Matthew Bond
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Re: Essen - questions on specific hotels, taxis, food, subwa
Cheers for the info, Jon.

First time to Essen this October, staying in the Mercure Plaza Hotel. All your tips and info have been a great help.

Can't wait.

Matt.
 
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Re: Essen - questions on specific hotels, taxis, food, subwa
Otterdance wrote:
Cheers for the info, Jon.

First time to Essen this October, staying in the Mercure Plaza Hotel. All your tips and info have been a great help.

Can't wait.

Matt.


My very great pleasure Matt. I know that for every practical answer myself and others give to specific questions, there are lots more readers who will think about going as well, and that's what I hope they'll do. If you spot me at the show or in the local restaurants, please come and say hello.
Cheers,
jon.
 
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Stefanie Kethers
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jayjonbeach wrote:

Does anyone know what the bag limit is for the train inside Germany?


There is no official limit on normal trains, though - depending on the type of train and how crowded it is - there might not be a lot of space to store it
during the trip.
 
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Matthew Bond
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Re: Essen - questions on specific hotels, taxis, food, subwa
EYE of NiGHT wrote:


My very great pleasure Matt. I know that for every practical answer myself and others give to specific questions, there are lots more readers who will think about going as well, and that's what I hope they'll do. If you spot me at the show or in the local restaurants, please come and say hello.
Cheers,
jon.


I'm sure you've helped many BGGers plan their trip to Essen this year.

I'll look out for you. And buy you a beer if I find you.

Cheers,

Matt.
 
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Re: Essen - questions on specific hotels, taxis, food, subwa
Mariana wrote:
jayjonbeach wrote:

Does anyone know what the bag limit is for the train inside Germany?


There is no official limit on normal trains, though - depending on the type of train and how crowded it is - there might not be a lot of space to store it
during the trip.


On some german trains, especially the expresses, there is not enough room in the main carraige for suitcases, even on luggage racks. Instead, you enter the carraige through a large door area, and that is where you are meant to leave your luggage. No, it never felt safe to me either, so you might be hanging round your luggage or trying to keep an eye on it all the time.

Also, don't sit in the 1st Class carraige on a 2nd Class ticket as I did by mistake. The ticket inspector may not be forgiving.
 
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Re: Essen - questions on specific hotels, taxis, food, subwa
Otterdance wrote:
And buy you a beer if I find you.
Cheers,
Matt.


hehehe, my plan unfolds....
 
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Houserule Jay
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EYE of NiGHT wrote:
No, it never felt safe to me either, so you might be hanging round your luggage or trying to keep an eye on it all the time.


Yep, that will be me for sure, especially with all the new games in tow but at least they'll make it on the train with me then, good to know thanks!

EYE of NiGHT wrote:
Otterdance wrote:
And buy you a beer if I find you.
Cheers,
Matt.


hehehe, my plan unfolds....


make that 2 beer...keep it up and you may not make it to the show...
 
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I'll be staying at the Movenpick again across from the train station in Essen. I still think this is one of the best kept secrets for locations for many reasons.

- Right out the door from the train station and across the street which is convienient if you're also coming from the Dusseldorf airport.
- Out the front door of the hotel, down the stairs to the subway and 5 minutes to the Gruga fair stop.
- There's a Essen ticket agency next door with tickets to the fair and any other event you want to go to in the city.
- Quiet, clean, modern rooms with private shower and toilet, and good service.
- Right in the heart of the downtown walking area and shopping district.
- Price 106 Euro for Wed/Thu, and 78 for Fri through Sun.
- The downtown post office is right across from the hotel if you plan on mailing any games back.

I was going to stay at the Arosa. Their website charges for a room were lower but when I asked to book, they jacked up the prices to 105 a night with no weekend special. They claimed the higher price due to the fair weekend and don't allow online booking which is a poor business practice in my book.

There's also the Post Hotel next to the Movenpick by the train station but I don't know what they charge. You can get rooms for cheaper than what I found if you look around, but I was satisfied with my stay at the Movenpick last year and will return there again.
 
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Wolfgang Kunz
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Concerning food in Essen: I suggest NOT to eat (except breakfast which is often included in the price) at the Hotel. Usually the restaurants around are much cheaper. I would even go as low as 15 Euros for a meal if Pizza and Coke fills you up. 25 € is a full stuffing meal - I pay this when I invite my wife to a very good restaurant with some special food.

Look out for some "Special Days" where some food is very cheap - for example: close to my house there is a Oriental Diner that sells "Schnitzel (meat) with fries and a small salad on Thursdays for 6 € and it is really enough. He also has Pasta, Pizza and Salad days - if I think about it my mouth waters mmmmhhh Schnitzel" Chinese restaurant also often have "all you can eat - days" for 10,00 to 15,00 €.

You should really find something around in Essen. Oh, by the way I took food (sandwich + mineral water) for lunch to the Messe. Food inside the Messe might be a bit expensive.

In this area it should not be too complicated to pick up a bus, train or sub for going around. If you want to stay longer in Essen, you can easily get around by train or sub than with a car. Friends of mine live close to Essen and whenever we visit them we're going around by train or sub. More convenient IMHO. And it is easy to go in neighbour cities / the whole area by train / sub too. I think you will enjoy it.

The Alphawolf

 
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John Lumley
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Does anyone have the contact info for this Hotel?

Holiday Inn Express!
 
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Re: Essen - questions on specific hotels, taxis, food, subwa
Might be this:
info@hi-essen.de

But more likley this is the one you want:
http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/ex/394/de/hd/essdl express.essen@ichotelsgroup.com

Looks like the email is now:
express.essen@ihg.com

Cheers,
jon.
 
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Artur Jedliński
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Me and my friends are going to stay in Express too I hope we meet at the restaurant hall after the fairs!
 
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Hey, we always stay at Movenpick!!!

Great hotel, great location, not the cheapest, but our favorite! Last year, we had 5 from Malaysia, 1 from Housten (gamer we met while he was on assignment in KL), and the whole Japanese media crew!

Possible downside - unless they were playing in the rooms or some other hall, we didn't see anyone playing games in the evenings in the hotel other than us (we took up the sofa area next to the reception). From what I read, other hotels literally turn into a game center in the evenings, so if that's what you are looking for, then Movenpick may not be your best choice.

We love it though! First year we took the subway to Messe. Last year, we just rented a car from the airport and drove everyday to Messe - really great if you intend to lug boxes back! No worries about train, luggage space, etc!. Straight to the airport. And if it cant fit into the car, like WM said, just borrow the hotel's luggage trolley and walk across to the Post Office to ship the rest home!

Say hello if you see us (you can't not see us)!!!
 
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Re: Essen - questions on specific hotels, taxis, food, subwa
Myself and friends will be stopping at the Holiday Inn Express on Thea Leymann Strasse again this year. (We met Ted last year!).

For those regulars that have seen us there before that is Pete, Paddt, Big Si and Little Si...Big Si is also taking his son this year for his first trip to Essen.
 
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EYE of NiGHT wrote:
If you are asking about taking the U-bahn (Subway) from the station to the hotels, I suspect by the time you've got from the train, down to the subway, bought your ticket, got on a train, got off one stop later, got up the escalator, well you might have well as walked.


Note that if you have a ticket for the whole event, it has a U-bahn ticket valid for the entire length of the convention on the back. I don't know if this is also true of the one-day tickets.

David.
 
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Re: Essen - questions on specific hotels, taxis, food, subwa
DavidNorman99 wrote:
EYE of NiGHT wrote:
If you are asking about taking the U-bahn (Subway) from the station to the hotels, I suspect by the time you've got from the train, down to the subway, bought your ticket, got on a train, got off one stop later, got up the escalator, well you might have well as walked.


Note that if you have a ticket for the whole event, it has a U-bahn ticket valid for the entire length of the convention on the back. I don't know if this is also true of the one-day tickets.

David.


David, is that for tickets bought through the tourist office? I was not aware that the normal show tickets had any concession on the local transport.

Cheers,
jon.
 
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David Norman
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EYE of NiGHT wrote:
DavidNorman99 wrote:
EYE of NiGHT wrote:
If you are asking about taking the U-bahn (Subway) from the station to the hotels, I suspect by the time you've got from the train, down to the subway, bought your ticket, got on a train, got off one stop later, got up the escalator, well you might have well as walked.


Note that if you have a ticket for the whole event, it has a U-bahn ticket valid for the entire length of the convention on the back. I don't know if this is also true of the one-day tickets.

David.


David, is that for tickets bought through the tourist office? I was not aware that the normal show tickets had any concession on the local transport.

Cheers,
jon.


Ok, time for a quick story...

After going to Essen last year, and buying U-Bahn tickets to get between the hotel and the venue on Wed, Thurs, Fri and Sat, the one fluent German speaker in our group was sufficiently bored on the train home on Saturday night to read the back of their entrance ticket, at which point they discovered that it said it was a pass for the train, and so all the tickets we'd been buying were superfluous!

Their ticket was a stand ticket (i.e. one of the ones you get if your an exhibitor), mine was bought at the kiosk at the entrance to the halls, and they both had it on.

My recommendation is, once you've got your ticket for the fair, get your friendly german speaker to read the back of it for you and see what it says...

Of course, the fact it was on there last year doesn't necessarily mean it'll be on there this year...

David.
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Andreas Maszuhn
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Ticket +Transport
The Messe Essen Homepage mentions two types of prepaid tickets:

-including public transport entrance fee 1-day-ticket 11€ +3€=14€

-excluding public transport entrance fee 11€+2€=13€

Those tickets including public transport are only available for the 1-day-passes as far as I could find out.

And you should be able to get them e.g. at the information center or at the Hauptbahnhof in the DB-Reisecenter (the place you buy your train tickets).

If you buy a 1-day-pass at the Messe Entrance you will have a free ride "home" but have to pay to get to the Messe.
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